A Fork in the Road
After the innocent little cartoon that I posted the other day here, I received a few remarks disagreeing with it. I know I have discussed this over and over again. Here I go again. The other night I met with some people who question why I don't have a mission statement or a vision statement or a set of goals for the church. The premise is: once we know who we want to be, then we can work towards being that. If you aim at nothing, that's what you're going to hit! I know this is the most popular and widely assumed and accepted wisdom, but I reject it completely. For a few reasons:
- In my own life, I've discovered that setting a vision for myself of who I want to be reveals a deep repugnance of who I am and coats it with ideals. It is an ancient remedy for denying and escaping from suffering and is a denial of reality.
- As a part of the church for years, I have seen how over and over again the vision, mission or goals of a community stifle the life of individuals and violently molds the community into the shape someone or some others have for it.
- As a pastor, I have come to the conclusion that people and communities are healthier and even prosper when some ideal of who or what they should be is not applied to them.